White Kitchen Islands

For a simple kitchen design, the white kitchen island is ideal for completing the look of a room.
White and Black Kitchen

White and Black Kitchen


Photo by: Jupiterimages


When choosing a color palette for kitchen design, it might seem like white would be the most boring option on the list. As you explore kitchen remodeling ideas, options and solutions, keep in mind that the appeal of white is a simple one when it comes to kitchen design: It looks bright and clean.

Small and Mighty White Kitchen

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Work With What You Have

When Danielle Balanis, a part-time designer, and her husband, Nic, remodeled their Birmingham, AL, kitchen, they had about 80 square feet to work with. This meant using smart design moves like a U-shaped layout, open shelves, and an almost-all-white color scheme to create a hyperfunctional cook space. “It may not be a huge area,” says Danielle, “but it’s so efficient that we never feel short on space.”

©Lisa Romerein

Find the Right Layout

"A U-shaped layout was the only one that made sense for our space,” says Danielle of her kitchen redesign. Because there are cabinets and counters on all three sides, Danielle never has to reach far when she’s cooking or doing the dishes.

©Lisa Romerein

Customize Your Cabinets

Five roomy cabinets and three deep drawers were all the Balanises needed to store kitchen essentials. Danielle decided on under-counter cabinets only and used the space above the counters for floating shelves to give the room an airy look. The knobs and pulls are from HGH Hardware Supply

©Lisa Romerein

Tiled Walls

Classic white subway tiles, outlined in gray grout, go from countertop to ceiling, making the room feel bigger. They also turn most of the kitchen’s walls into one giant easy-to-clean backsplash. “It’s low-maintenance but also has a clean, industrial look,” says Danielle.

©Lisa Romerein

Big Sink

The Balanises had room for only a small dishwasher, so they made up for it with a deep, 30-inch-wide farmhouse sink from overstock.com. The stainless steel finish matches the appliances.

©Lisa Romerein

Peninsula as Dining Spot

A 6-foot-long peninsula takes the place of a kitchen table. The Carrara marble top extends 18 inches from the base, leaving room for three wood and metal stools ($149 each from Wisteria) to tuck under.

©Lisa Romerein

Colorful Cookware

Glasses, utensils, and pots in shades that pop look cute, so it’s OK if they stay out.

©Lisa Romerein

Floating Shelves

Painted 3-inch-thick wood shelves hold everyday dishes and pretty glassware.

©Lisa Romerein

And believe it or not, white comes is a range of hues (a variety of different shades can still be considered "white") including everything from beige to a creamy-toned hue. Homeowners who choose white kitchen islands are often seeking to complete the overall look of a minimalist kitchen or they are simply looking to add a piece that helps balance an otherwise bold space.

If you are choosing white cabinetry for your kitchen island, then consider balancing the piece with granite, wood or stainless steel countertops. The overall look will be fresh while still maintaining a neutral finish.

Of course, a white kitchen island might also be achieved by painting wood cabinetry with a white wash stain or adding a white marble countertop to a dark wood cabinet base. These additions provide a soft touch to an otherwise rustic or rich wood surface.

The most important part of choosing a white kitchen island for your space is balancing this simple piece with bold accents, whether it be with colorful bar stools or sunny yellow shelving. These accents will help liven up the design while maintaining an otherwise neutral color scheme.

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